Investimento, corporate governance e investor relations


Extrato de uma entrevista a Stefan Frischknecht CFA, Head of Investments, Switzerland, Schroder Investment Management (Switzerland) AG, pela Going Public Magazin, n.º 12 (pp. 32 a 35):

“GoingPublic: For you, what are the most important criteria when it comes to investing in a company?

Frischknecht: We rely on two main features: evaluation and quality. For the evaluation, we apply a model of our own, which we use to determine the quotation potential. The following aspects are included in the quality assessment: The companies should have a solid balance sheet with a low debt equity ratio and goodwill. Secondly, we assess a company’s products and services, which have to demonstrate a long-term benefit for the consumer. The third aspect is the quality of the corporate management, as a fourth factor, we draw upon the past. Has the company succeeded in creating shareholder value? For this, too, we use one of our own models.

GoingPublic: In doing this, what role does communication with the management team and investor relations department say?

Frischknecht: Communication with management is very important to us. Following an initial discussion, a company cannot yet be classified for us. Two to four times a year we hold discussions with the management of the companies we have invested in – normally with the CFO or CEO. Using these discussions and our experience, we then obtain a precise picture of this company’s shares. It is very important for us to obtain information here first-hand, so we can check whether our investment objectives are being achieved.

GoingPublic: Are these purely informative discussions or do you also try to actively influence the corporate policy?

Frischknecht: That also takes place, but it does, of course, depend upon how responsive the management is to our information and how open they are to constructive criticism. Many times, we are, to all intents and purposes, asked what is important to us as a shareholder. In an ideal situation, constructive dialogue takes place. In doing this, it is of course clear to us that the management bears the responsibility. But we are available to help in any way we can. If there are drawbacks, we point them out, and it doesn’t hurt if we sometimes have to have an unpleasant discussion too.

GoingPublic: Do you also use companies’ general meetings to give information to this effect?

Frischknecht: The general meetings are less suitable and also less efficient for discussions such as these. If, in contrast, the companies come into our office, they are already to a certain degree receptive to our opinion and it is possible to have dialogue. Indeed, at a general meeting, it is only a monologue, to which an answer is given if need be.”